For this one, readers will excuse a poor, overwhelmed legal dictionary editor to refer entirely to the brillant judge that came up with this one.
Unfortunately, nary a lawyer can be found who has not encountered one of these types of OCPA litigants in courts of law, usually at the end of the docket, just as most of the lawyers are clearing out of the Courtrom and the poor judge and clerk are left with the kook.
"This Court has developed a new awareness and understanding of a category of vexatious litigant. As we shall see, while there is often a lack of homogeneity, and some individuals or groups have no name or special identity, they (by their own admission or by descriptions given by others) often fall into the following descriptions: Detaxers; Freemen or Freemen-on-the-Land; Sovereign Men or Sovereign Citizens; Church of the Ecumenical Redemption International (CERI); Moorish Law; and other labels - there is no closed list.
"In the absence of a better moniker, I have collectively labelled them as Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Argument litigants [“OPCA litigants”], to functionally define them collectively for what they literally are. These persons employ a collection of techniques and arguments promoted and sold by ‘gurus’ (as hereafter defined) to disrupt court operations and to attempt to frustrate the legal rights of governments, corporations, and individuals.
"Over a decade of reported cases have proven that the individual concepts advanced by OPCA litigants are invalid. What remains is to categorize these schemes and concepts, identify global defects to simplify future response to variations of identified and invalid OPCA themes, and develop court procedures and sanctions for persons who adopt and advance these vexatious litigation strategies.
"One participant in this matter, the Respondent Dennis Larry Meads, appears to be a sophisticated and educated person, but is also an OPCA litigant. One of the purposes of these Reasons is, through this litigant, to uncover, expose, collate, and publish the tactics employed by the OPCA community, as a part of a process to eradicate the growing abuse that these litigants direct towards the justice and legal system we otherwise enjoy in Alberta and across Canada. I will respond on a point-by-point basis to the broad spectrum of OPCA schemes, concepts, and arguments advanced in this action by Mr. Meads.
"OPCA litigants do not express any stereotypic beliefs other than a general rejection of court and state authority; nor do they fall into any common social or professional association. Arguments and claims of this nature emerge in all kinds of legal proceedings and all levels of Courts and tribunals. This group is unified by:
- A characteristic set of strategies (somewhat different by group) that they employ,
- Specific but irrelevant formalities and language which they appear to believe are (or portray as) significant, and
- The commercial sources from which their ideas and materials originate.
"This category of litigant shares one other critical characteristic: they will only honour state, regulatory, contract, family, fiduciary, equitable, and criminal obligations if they feel like it.
"And typically, they don’t....
This community has “guru” leader, and follower / customer, cohorts. Groups of persons who have similar beliefs join together into “movements”....
"Members in the OPCA community appear surprisingly unified by their methodology and objectives. They are otherwise diverse. OPCA litigants appearing in our Court may be anything from educated professionals to retired senior citizens. They may be wealthy or poor. The famous are not immune; for example the American action movie actor Wesley Snipes adopted OPCA techniques in an attempt to defeat his income tax obligations: United State v. Wesley Trent Snipes et al., No. 5:06-cr-00022-WTH-GRJ-1 (U.S.D.C. M.D. Fl., February 1, 2008). Snipes presently is serving a three year prison sentence for income tax evasion....
"(P)ersons involved in the OPCA community often hold highly conspiratorial perspectives, but there is no consistency in who is the alleged hidden hand.
"Another uniform OPCA characteristic appears to be a belief that ordinary persons have been unfairly cheated, or deceived as to their rights. This belief that the common man has been abused and cheated by a hidden hand seems to form the basis for OPCA community members perceived right to break ‘the system’ and retaliate against ‘their oppressors’....
"OPCA strategies as brought before this Court have proven disruptive, inflict unnecessary expenses on other parties, and are ultimately harmful to the persons who appear in court and attempt to invoke these vexatious strategies. Because of the nonsense they argue, OPCA litigants are invariably unsuccessful and their positions dismissed, typically without written reasons. Nevertheless, their litigation abuse continues....
"These claims are, of course, pseudolegal nonsense. A judge who encounters and reviews OPCA concepts will find their errors are obvious and manifest, once one strips away the layers of peculiar language, irrelevant references, and deciphers the often bizarre documentation which accompanies an OPCA scheme. When reduced to their conceptual core, most OPCA concepts are contemptibly stupid. Mr. Meads, for example, has presented the Court with documents that appear to be a contract between himself, and himself. One Mr. Meads promises to pay for any liability of the other Mr. Meads. One owns all property, the other all debts. What is the difference between these entities? One spells his name with upper case letters. The other adds spurious and meaningless punctuation to his name...."